Why You Should Buy a More Expensive Tablet
The ever changing face of the consumer electronics market has brought us the tablet; put very simply, a larger version of the smart phone, and something more like a portable window into the online world than anything that we’ve seen to date. After Apple captured the public‘s attention with the original iPad it didn’t take long for other manufacturers to start coming up with their own incarnations. Now the market is full of different variations, and as with most other gadgets, the consumer’s budget is very well considered as prices start at an affordable level and go up according to specification.
Sometimes when looking at a collection of different tablets it can be difficult to see why prices vary so much, but while many of the devices look similar, what you’re paying can make a great difference in quality. Here are five jargon free reasons why a bigger price tag might just be worthwhile in the long run.
How much of your movies, music, photographs and other stuff you can fit on the tablet is seemingly the biggest factor that affects price. Most of the main manufacturers provide the same spec machines with different options in size. Apple’s iPad2, iPad Mini and iPad with Retina Display come in a variety of different versions only made different by their storage capacity. For instance, the iPad Mini has a 16GB version, a 32GB version and a 64GB version; with the 16GB being the cheapest option. In simple terms, the higher the number here, the more data the tablet is able to hold. The Google Nexus 10 also offers differing size options that have corresponding price tags with the 16 and 32 gigabyte versions; it’s the same with the Blackberry Playbook 7 with 16, 32 and 64 gigabytes respectively, and with the option to increase capacity with a micro SD card, even the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 allows you to increase storage space; although Samsung charges no extra for the SD slot.
We’ve all had it drummed into us that speed is important when it comes to our computers. Dual-core, quad-core, RAM and all those other technical words are what govern speed but why are they important, and how do they bump up price?
Put simply, having a quad-core processor allows your tablet to do more things simultaneously, while the higher RAM number means that it will do those things faster. Like with most things technological, the higher the number the better. The reason that the price goes up is that not all tablets have the same specifications. Due to the better processors and memory costing more to procure from the chip manufacturers when the tablet is built, the tablet manufacturer has to put up the price accordingly. The designers want to lead innovation and so of course they will produce top tier machines, but they also know that not everyone can afford such devices, and so they produce lower budget products, with lower budget components.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1” tablet boasts a 1.4 GHz Exynos quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM while the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7” has an NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. We can see that the two Samsungs differ greatly; with the Galaxy Note having the higher specifications. It’s not a surprise then to find that the Galaxy Note also has the higher price tag.
It’s not just the size of the display that makes some tablets cost more than others. Of course a larger screen is going to be a little pricier than a smaller one but there are other factors that are very important too; such as resolution and type of touch screen.
Apple’s Retina Display claims to have a pixel density so high that the human eye is unable to see individual pixels from a normal viewing distance. Apple are very proud of their achievement, and such a high resolution obviously adds to cost. Another example of resolution effecting price is the Kindle Fire. The 7” HD version beats the non-HD version as you might expect and again, that difference is reflected in the price.
Touch screen is what tablets are all about, and of course there are differences in how devices handle the user input. The multi point touch screens installed on tablets can be very simple in their operation or they can be much more complex. The term describes the different actions that you can perform on the screen such as clicking, swiping, pinching and so on. The more dynamic the touch screen, once again, the higher the cost.
Being a multimedia device, the modern tablet must allow it’s user to be able to connect with other people; whether that is via Wi-Fi or via 3G/4G. Most tablets currently only allow for Wi-Fi connectivity, but manufacturers once again are responding to market demand, and now more and more devices are being released that allow cellular connectivity. Apple’s iPad 2 comes in a Wi-Fi version and a Wi-Fi+3G version; priced accordingly, and the Blackberry Playbook also offers a +3G version. Cellular connectivity in tablets is a natural progression, and has a large marketing and revenue potential for device manufacturers and data providers. Adding the hardware and software to such devices raises the cost to the companies that develop them, and in turn raises the price to the consumer.
Simple devices such as the Kindle Paperwhite are designed with a specific task in mind. In the case of the Paperwhite it is reading and as such, it does little else. As the tablet is designed to just about anything laptop can do, and now just about anything a mobile phone can do, the customer expects more. Simple tablets do only what is expected, but higher specification devices serve us with built in or 3rd party hardware and software that continues to surprise us. Apple accessories are most common and Apple boast a magnitude of applications. Amazon has the market share of books and offers its customers great incentives when buying their products, and finally tablets like the Samsung series, the Google Nexus and other Android devices have the Android Market with its large number of applications.
So while there are many options when browsing the aisles looking for a new and affordable tablet; there are valid reasons for purchasing a model at the high end of the spectrum. Of course budget is a main consideration for many people and the manufacturers know it. All of the big players now offer a mid range or budget tablet with Apple recently joining the market with the iPod Mini. If you are watching your bank balance then you’ll need to weigh up the pros and cons of the tablets within your range but if you can afford a top spec machine but were looking for a justification for the price, then hopefully this article has been of some use.